United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE
Cheryl B. (“Cheryl”) appeals the final decision
of the Deputy Commissioner for Operations (“Deputy
Commissioner”) of the Social Security Administration
(“SSA”) denying her November 6, 2012, application
for disability insurance benefits (“DIB”). R.
(Dkt. No. 7) at 55. The application was initially denied on
February 6, 2013, R. at 134, and upon reconsideration on
April 29, 2013, R. at 145. The administrative law judge
(“ALJ”) conducted a hearing on July 20, 2015, R.
at 7-44, resulting in a decision on August 31, 2015, that
Cheryl was not disabled and thus not entitled to receive DIB.
R. at 55-71. The Appeals Council denied review on December
19, 2016, and the Deputy Commissioner's decision became
final. R. at 6. On February 22, 2017, Cheryl timely filed
this civil action seeking judicial review of the decision
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Dkt. No. 1.
completion of briefing by the parties, the Court referred
this matter to Magistrate Judge Baker, who submitted his
Report and Recommendation on March 15, 2018, recommending
that the decision of the Deputy Commissioner be affirmed,
Dkt. No. 22 (“R&R”). The cause is now before
the Court on Cheryl's timely filed Objections to the
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (Dkt. No. 23
(“Pl.'s Obj.”), to which the Deputy
Commissioner has responded (Dkt. No. 24 (Def.'s
Resp.”); 28 U.S.C § 636(b)(1)(B).
appeal involves the fourth step of the sequential evaluation
process, which addresses whether a claimant is capable of
performing past relevant work on a regular and continuing
basis despite any impairment-related limitations, which is
determined through an RFC assessment. 20 C.F.R. § 1545.
For the reasons explained in this Order, we overrule the
objections and adopt the conclusions of the Magistrate Judge.
and Procedural History 
conducting a hearing, at which Cheryl was represented by
counsel, the ALJ followed the fi ve-step sequential
evaluation set forth by the SSA, see 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1520(a)(4)(i) to (v), concluding at step four that
Cheryl is not disabled. Specifically, the ALJ found as
• At Step One, Cheryl had not engaged in substantial
gainful activity since October 5, 2011, the alleged
disability onset date. R. at 56.
• At Step Two, she suffered from the following severe
impairments: chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, migraines,
vasculitis, deep thrombosis, depression, and anxiety. R. at
• At Step Three, Cheryl did not have an impairment of
combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the
severity of one of the listed impairments. R. at 58-60.
• After Step Three but before Step Four, Cheryl had the
residual functional capacity (“RFC”) “to
perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(a)
except she must be afforded the opportunity to alternate
between a standing and seated position at will without being
off-task for more than 15% of the workday. She can only
occasionally climb ladders, ropes, scaffolds, ramps and
stairs, can only occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch,
and crawl, and can only [in]frequently engage in fingering,
handling, and feeling activities. She must further avoid
concentrated exposure to extreme heat, cold, and vibrations,
must avoid concentrated exposure to fumes, dusts, gases,
other pulmonary irritants, and poorly ventilated areas, and
must avoid all exposure to unprotected heights, the operation
of motorized vehicles, and moving mechanical parts. [She]
cannot engage in outdoor work, and must avoid concentrated
exposure to bright lights. Moreover, she is limited to work
requiring no more than detailed, but not complex,
instructions in an environment free from fast-paced
production requirements.” R. at 61.
• At Step Four, relying on the testimony of the
vocational expert (“VE”) and considering
Cheryl's RFC, she was capable of performing her previous
employment as a graphic coordinator. R. at 62.
appeal to the Court, Cheryl took issue with three aspects of
the Deputy Commissioner's final decision, argu in g that
the ALJ: (1) failed to address certain conflicts on the
record before him; (2) failed to accord any medical source
great or controlling weight in general and failed to accord
controlling weight to her treating physicians in particular;
and (3) failed to adequately address her impairments
alongside the ALJ's findings of psychological
restrictions in rendering the RFC. Dkt. Nos. 1, 12, 21.
Magistrate Judge concluded that none of the errors identified
by Cheryl warranted remand, noting that many of Cheryl's
fact-centered points asserting that the ALJ failed to
consider certain evidence on the record before him were
undermined by the record itself, which plainly shows that the
ALJ actually considered the evidence. Dkt. No. 22. Thus, the
Magistrate Judge recommended that the Deputy
Commissioner's decision be upheld.